With all the news in last week focused on the slew of celebrities passing away from assorted causes, it was easy to miss an interesting sound bite from House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) about the American Clean Energy and Security Act, also known as the Waxman-Markey Bill. Passed by the House of Representatives by a narrow margin of 219-212, this bill has gotten farther than any other environmental measure of such magnitude. The bill, set to be debated in the Senate in the fall, is far from perfect, and there are many differing points of view as to why. Some predict wide job losses due to the constraints it puts on corporations; others believe a loss of jobs will come because its standards aren't high enough.
As with most similar pieces of legislation, nobody really knows what impact it will have -- except for Paul Krugman, who is always right about everything, just ask him, he'll tell you. But more about the esteemed representative from Ohio. In a cynical effort to delay a vote on the bill, Mr. Boehner read aloud from it to the House chamber for over an hour. When questioned by the Hill about his oration he explained, "Hey, people deserve to know what's in this pile of sh*t." Sounds to me like the congressman was making a veiled reference to feedlot biomass fuels, which we know could cut down our dependence on foreign fuel and reduce our carbon footprint.
This is not the first time Mr. Boehner has slipped his subtle agenda into a description of proposed legislation, and he works both sides of the aisle, to boot. In 2007, he described President Bush's immigration bill in this way: "I promised the president today that I wouldn't say anything bad about...this piece of sh*t bill." Once again, a nod toward feedlot biomass.
What is going on here? I think its time to set America straight, Congressman Boehner, and come out of your green closet. The green and sustainable community needs your support.
Jonathan A. Schein is the publisher of MetroGreenBusiness.com and GreenBusinessCareers.com.